Sunday, October 16, 2005

Could you rephrase the bit about ingraining diversity?

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

Politics and the English Language
Today's London Free Press editorial is entitled "Make London all-embracing".
When it comes to promoting inclusiveness and diversity in this city, responsibility goes beyond city hall and school boards to include every Londoner...

All social beings have an obligation to advocate for inclusiveness and, by extension, diversity...

Only when there is awareness across a broad band of London will inclusiveness be ingrained.

London Free Press, 10/16/2005
...and, by extension, will diversity be cemented.
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.

Politics and the English Language